30 October 2010 Fundraising launch


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Refugees’ schools project

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 children’s art

Pensioners fact sheet



A successful launch for the fundraising campaign

A fundraising appeal to renovate the premises of the new building and future home of the Crossroads Women’s Centre got off to a flying start on Halloween weekend with Bishop of Edmonton Peter Wheatley and TV celebrity Gail Porter among the 400-strong crowd.

The sun shone on the Mews which, decorated with balloons, was closed to traffic. Brilliant clown Colin Francome (also emeritus professor of medical sociology at Middlesex University) held over 30 children spell-bound with his display of fire-eating, juggling and balloon sculpture. Face painting featured Halloween themes . . .

The mega Garage Sale at Nº 25 buzzed with excitement as people scooped up bargains among the mountains of clothes, toys, books, computers and bric-a-brac! Homeopath and musician Paul Hughes entertained visitors with his ukelele, while tea with home-made scones and cakes were consumed in great quantities.

Daytime activities were cleared away in record time to make way for a private party where old and new friends were welcomed to the new premises. Many had come to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Women’s Centre’s distinguished founder Selma James. Entertainers included local poet performer Salena Godden, singer playwright Tayo Aluko, Latin American group Rompiendo Fronteras, reggae artist I Jah Mo roots and sounds by DJ Leroy.

Local businesses contributed to the first of many raffles Crossroads Women are planning. Kentish Canteen donated the first prize – a £50 meal voucher; local aromatherapist Tracey Childs offered a full body massage; and health food shop Earth gave a bottle of their best organic red wine.

Distinguished visitors included Jenny Rathbone, great-niece of Eleanor Rathbone whose campaigning won universal family allowance (now child benefit); local Green Councillor Maya de Souza; former Camden grants officer Maya Alva; John Dixon and his wife Margaret, both active at Kentish Town’s Our Lady Help of Christians; brilliant dog trainer Dima Yeremenko and family; Hayes and Harlington MP John McDonnell, his wife Cynthia and Helen Lowder who runs his constituency office; former Bow & Poplar MP Mildred Gordon; journalists Cary Gee, Margaret Prescod and a reporter from the Russian language World Service; Sarah White of New Beacon Books; Emeritus Professor Moshe Machover; alternative health practitioners Jennifer Dooley, Ilana Machover, Annie Sayer and Natalie Foster.

And many others – from Crossroads Women’s fantastic legal team to all those who have worked with the over 15 groups based at the Centre, each with its own services and projects: asylum seekers who won the right to stay and be reunited with their families, women with disabilities, mothers whose benefits had been unfairly cut and were reinstated, rape survivors who got compensation . . . Well-wishers had come from as far afield as Leicestershire and Liverpool, and even from Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Solveig Francis of Crossroads Women thanked everyone for their generosity: “The success of the launch confirmed that an expanded Crossroads Women’s Centre will be a huge resource for the whole community. Our fundraising efforts are now in full swing. The day’s garage sale and related donations contributed £4,017 to the £72,548 raised towards the £200,000 we need to renovate the building, making it fully accessible and as green as possible. We welcome visitors who want to find out more about our plans for the new building and forthcoming activities.”       

See press reports



400 people attended

Bishop of Edmonton Peter Wheatley

Clown Colin Francome

TV celebrity Gail Porter

 Crossroads Women, Registered charity no. 1134495, Company limited by guarantee no. 7087291